The Daily App: P90X Fights the Flab
The grueling cult workout P90X goes mobile with an app packed with workouts, social features and fitness tracking.
The P90X, short for Power 90 Extreme, is a home-exercise conditioning workout notorious for its intensity and difficulty. The three-month regimen incorporates cardio, yoga, calisthentics, plyometrics, interval and weight training and martial arts --along with an accompanying diet -- promising to whip bodies into shape quickly and effectively and "get ripped in 90 days!" (And yes, a chin-up bar is part of the regime.)
First offered via infomercial, the 12 DVD workout set garnered positive word-of-mouth and acclaim among serious gym rats and fitness enthusiasts, and now an app promises to bring the program to the mobile platform.
What's the App?
Offered by fitness company Beachbody, the P90X app purports it's the portable iPhone equivalent of its famous DVD program, which rotates its 12 workouts over a series of repeating cycles over the 90-day period. The app starts off at $5 and includes "the Fit Test" and the ominously named "Ad Ripper X Guided Workout," but most of the major workouts in the series require additional purchases. All the other workouts, for example, come in a package of $60, but you can buy them a la carte, as well, with most running at $6 per workout.
The app itself is slickly designed and fairly easy to use. The company adapted its workouts to the iPhone format, timed and cued for quick access. It also features interactive and accountability features, such as nutrition logs, fitness tracking and integration with social media and Beachbody's own Web community sites. The audio cues on the workout are especially helpful, since no one likes to interrupt a workout to squint at a tiny phone screen for the next move. The videos run smoothly, but many users and reviewers note that downloading more workouts turns the app into a massive memory hog, and the app often freezes up.
You'll still have to invest in the fitness equipment that the workout requires (including that dreaded chin-up bar), but the question facing most mobile phone users is if you can eschew buying the DVDs for just the iPhone app. The company states on its website that it designed the app to complement the DVD releases, offering on-the-go convenience and interaction on one device. It's my experience that downloading the app is a perfectly adequate way to test out the P90X workout without committing to buying a $100+ set of DVDs. The fit test provided on the basic version of the app is pretty standard, but the Ab Ripper X workout offers a taste of what the P90X is about: feeling the burn!
You'll Want It If...
You're already a P90X fan and are looking for a way to take its workouts on the road or to the gym without having to lug the DVDs with you. The option to buy separate routines offers a convenient way to customize the app to your needs -- you can just download the weights-based programs, for example, if you want to do those workouts at the gym.
The app could also offer a nice sampler for those curious about P90X. And if anything, you have a decent abs workout on hand, even if you decide the P90X isn't right for you.
It's Not My Thing -- What Else Ya Got?
If you don't want to "X" and decide that "bringing it!" is not for you, loads of other apps offer equally challenging fitness routines. The Navy Seal Fitness app also combines cardio, weight training and similar conditioning drills as the P90X, but for $2, it's a lot less expensive and more comprehensive -- though the graphics aren't as sleek and dramatic and the sharing and tracking features much more bare-bones. Plus, the app is peppered with fun facts about the Navy SEALS themselves, as well as general information on musculature, physiology and other workout-related science topics.
Succeeding with fitness, though, is a matter of acknowledging personal temperament as much as it is a challenging and effective workout. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I'll stick with something like RunKeeper and a nice jog in the park -- no chin-up bar required. ♦
Categories: Healthcare & Fitness | The Daily App